We shared a variety of stories together, Amy and Colin, Susan and me.  It was fun to discuss stuff.  A few of the stories stand out in my mind.  One being the fact that there is a forest near Mt. Fuji (that’s all I know about the locale) where people go to take their own lives.  Hikers are known to frequently stumble upon these people in various forms of dead-ness.  !!  I can’t even imagine.  Apparently it was described on a documentary in the UK so I aim to find out more about that when I get home or have regular internet access.  That’s just crazy!

Another story that stands out is the one where Amy describes how in the mid-80’s people were hurling themselves into oncoming trains at too-regular intervals so Japan investigated what could be done about it and came up with the idea that soothing sounds could be used as a deterrent.  So now the sound of birds can be heard as well as soft tinkling music indicating the end of the escalator, the arrival of a train, and such.  The sounds apparently add to the overall well-being of people and hopefully stop them from thoughts of hurling themselves into trains.  Plus, they made a law that the families of the person that takes their life in that dramatic fashion be responsible for paying a debt to the city or country.  So the shame of that is to act as a deterrent as well.  We were surprised to see a JR employee at the edge of the track during rush hour yesterday holding a ladder or something.  We wondered if that was to reach down and help someone who happened to step over?  If so, then it would seem that this might be a rather frequent thing! Interesting.